76 of 86 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Airplane! (DVD)
Anyone who has ever seen one of a host of abysmal 1970's disaster flicks could have predicted that they were ripe for a satire, but I doubt anyone could have predicted that "Airplane" would have set the gold standard for the spoof. In addition, since it appears on TV so often, seeing it on DVD is almost a new experience because all of the scenes that were cut for content seem like new jokes.
I can't imagine anyone is unfamiliar with the plot (such as it is), but by way of a brief summary, a passenger jet is in trouble when the entire flight crew, and many of the passengers, fall ill from the in flight meal. It's up to Ted Striker to bring down the plane safely; but there's just one problem, he hasn't been able to fly since his last abortive raid during "the war". Oh, and his estranged girlfriend is one of the stewardesses. However, where a disaster film would turn this into an overwrought melodrama, absolutely nothing, and I do mean nothing, is taken seriously in "Airplane".
In fact, it is almost remarkable how much is packed into this film. Literally every scene contains a joke or a sight gag or a double entendre. There's so much going on that in spite of dozens of viewings, I still find something new more often than not. Eve the sound effects are a gag, as all of the exterior shots of the plane (which is a model that is so fake it's hilarious) feature the sound of a prop plane even though it is obviously a jet.
The DVD doesn't have much to recommend it other than the film, but that's to be expected from an older, relatively low budget movie; and those who have seen it would agree, there can't have been much left on the cutting room floor to make up extra features. The image and sound are fine, if not spectacular, but then neither needs to be. However, having the film in widescreen is nice because some of the wide angle shots now contain people that weren't visible in the fullscreen version familiar to TV viewers.
In the end, "Airplane" may very well be the king of movie satires. From start to finish it is a non-stop joke reel, and the amazing thing is that they are all still funny years after the first viewing. Fans of the movie will find this DVD to be adequate, as the transfer and sound are fine, but don't count on any new material or amazing extras. However, as I said before, I don't think this is a movie that needs a lot of extras, and the film alone is well worth the very reasonable price.
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Initial post: Nov 6, 2015 7:01:32 AM PST
Eric Perlin says:
I remember reading somewhere that "Airplane" had about 28 minutes of footage left on the cutting room floor. However, the theatrical cut is probably the best version. Prior to release, the film was heavily edited by the directors so only the biggest laughs remained. The result is a lightning-paced non-stop laugh-fast that never lulls for a moment. I don't think I would go out of my way to see the deleted footage.
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